25 April 2018 - 11 Iyyar 5778 - י"א אייר ה' אלפים תשע"ח
Israel celebrates Jerusalem’s 50th anniversary E-mail
Israel celebrated the 50th anniversary of Jerusalem Day Yom Yerushalayim on 24 May. The day celebrates the reunification of Jerusalem.

The Israeli army’s victory in the ancient, eastern part of the city on the third day of the Six Day War on 7 June 1967, when unification of the two sections of the city took place, ended 19 years of separation.

“On the 50th anniversary of its reunification, Jerusalem is a flourishing, thriving city – in the fields of education, hi-tech and culture, in business and all areas of life. On this day, as we celebrate Jerusalem, let us all ‘exalt Jerusalem above our utmost joy’, and build her for future generations. I wish all of us a successful year in Jerusalem,” said Jerusalem’s Mayor, Nir Barkat.

The city held lots of celebratory events, culminating in a fireworks display over the city.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attended a state memorial ceremony at Mount Herzl in Jerusalem, marking 50 years since the Six Day War.
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Japanese soccer fans banned over “Nazi” flag E-mail
Japan’s J-League team Gamba Osaka has banned dozens of fans indefinitely after a flag similar to the Nazi SS insignia was waved during a J-League soccer match.

The flag, which bore a double “S” in the style of the Nazi paramilitary force, was seen during Gamba’s 2-2 draw against city rivals Cerezo Osaka on 16 April.

Gamba said on its website that it has told the supporters’ group responsible to disband, and that all banners were also prohibited indefinitely. “We spotted the group, which comprises about 60 to 70 people,” team spokesman Kenji Okunaga said.

“Most of them are Japanese but it also includes some foreigners.” He added that although the supporters’ group did not have any political intentions, “they were the same one to whom we issued a warning over a similar incident back in 2014. So we decided to take these measures,” Okunaga added.

The J-League prohibits displays of any kind linked to political ideology, religion or race, and also bans racial and other forms of discrimination.
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Air India suspends plans for flights to Israel E-mail
Air India has suspended plans to launch flights between Tel Aviv and New Delhi.

In March, the Indian carrier announced that it was planning to launch three weekly flights, starting in May, but it is now reconsidering these plans after it failed to receive permission to fly over some Arab and Muslim countries.

An Air India official said that the refusal of countries such as Saudi Arabia to grant overflight permission has turned a five-hour flight into an eight-hour flight, making the route uneconomical.
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Palestinian-Israeli woman to serve as judge in a Sharia court E-mail

For the first time in the history of the State of Israel, a Palestinian- Israeli woman has been appointed to serve as a judge in a Sharia religious court.

As reported by the “New Arab” website in April, Israel’s Judicial Appointments Committee announced that Hana Mansour-Khatib – a lawyer specialising in family law from the northern town of Tamra – had won a unanimous internal vote for the office. Mansour-Khatib even won the backing of members of the ultra-Orthodox Shas party. The move has been hailed as historic by Israeli officials.

Some critics have dismissed it as a publicity stunt, drawing references to the continued human rights abuses suffered by Palestinian Muslims living under Israeli occupation. In the Jewish State, family law, including legislation governing divorce, marriage and endowments, is governed by religious courts, with separate systems existing for different religious denominations.

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Relations warm up between New Zealand and Israel E-mail
New Zealand’s newly appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs Gerry Brownlee contacted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last month in an effort to restore diplomatic relations.

Brownlee received his ministerial warrant on 2 May, Israel’s Independence Day, and hours later wrote to Netanyahu to get the relationship back on track. “I’ve sent a letter to Mr Netanyahu yesterday, firstly congratulating them on their national day but expressing a desire for the Israeli-New Zealand relationship to get back on track and to do that by recognising that we’ve got synergies and innovation and agriculture and various other things like that,” he told local media.

Brownlee confirmed there is more work to be done, but remains resolute about the importance of restoring the relationship to its prior strength.

In December, Israel withdrew its ambassador from New Zealand and postponed the travel rights of its ambassador to Israel, based in Turkey, after New Zealand co-sponsored a United Nations Security Council resolution condemning Israeli settlements in the West Bank.
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